April 28, 2015
You've heard all about how content marketing is the next hot thing, right? How the way to your customers' hearts is by providing them with engaging, interesting content that speaks to their interests, convinces them to spend their time with your website, and ultimately, converts browsers into customers. But you're not doing it, because you're not sure how to create content about your boring product.
Let's face it; some products have interest appeal to the relevant audience—fashion, media news, recaps of last night's awesome TV lineup—where others are not inherently the stuff of which a content creator's dreams are made. If you're a company that manufactures screws, for example, or provides a tax services to businesses, it can feel like no one wants to hear what you have to say.
If you find content creation boring, odds are very good that you're doing it wrong. It can feel like your content needs to be all sales pitches for your company, but in the end, that's the kind of content that readers stop caring about pretty quickly.
Let's talk about how to market a “boring” product without driving away your audience.
Find your audience
As part of creating a business plan, you probably discussed who your ideal customer is. You considered things like their location, their class, their disposable income, and what their interests were outside of your product. Knowing this is crucial to creating good content. Even the most fascinating product can only stand a couple dozen posts about its intricacies, and then things start to break down quickly.
If you haven't already worked to identify your audience, do so now. Start with the customers you have, and look to see what makes them similar. Do they tend to be the same age, the same gender, and the same educational background?
Solve your audience's problems
Now that you know who your audience is, you can begin to consider what problem they have. Take a look at this product list from iMediaConnections about upcoming gadgets in 2015. The audience for this post is the kind of person who is fascinated in technology, and is looking ahead to the coolest tech that's likely to come out this year. The person who is interested in this post is probably younger, probably college educated, and probably has their fair share of disposable income. The blog post solves this problem for them by telling them what's up and coming, and not just whether or not it will be useful for them, but how it will be useful.
If your company makes fastening hardware, writing about the difference between square shouldered screws and indented hexagons is probably a great article to write if you want to help your audience handle their insomnia. A fascinating piece of content, however, would be discuss building a small piece of furniture, which hardware to use for best construction, and why.
Engage with your audience
Once you're writing interesting, enticing content, bring it to social media and engage with your audience. Sharing your blog post is only the first step. Consider how to creatively use social media to catch your audience's attention. Can you organize a giveaway of relevant services? Post a quick explanation of some new product or service that your company offers. The options are endless.
If you're stumped for ideas, start looking at the blogs and social media accounts that you're following. If nothing else, you can always post a response to an idea that someone else in your community has raised (but be polite, and give credit where credit is due). Offering an alternative perspective, or suggesting that another blog gave you a jumping off point builds a community of interconnected businesses. You can also let the other content provider know that you're going to be spring boarding off their post; you may be able to get them to link from their blog to yours, increasing your followers as their audience comes to check you out.
Stop looking to content for sales
Ultimately, great content does not directly correlate to sales, and anyone who tells you that they can guarantee you a specific number of sales with a blog post or a social media share is selling something you don't want. What great content does is increase your “thought leadership” within a community.
A thought leader is someone who is looked to as an expert in their field. Increasing your reputation of providing great content and interesting ideas increases your audience's trust in you, which makes them more likely to have an emotional connection with your product. In the end, does this make them more likely to purchase your product? Probably. But it's a round-about connection, not something that can be measured in click-through rates or conversion counters.
Ultimately, there is no topic too boring that a good writer can't create great content about it. By following these steps and investing time in your content management strategy, any topic can gather an interested, intrigued audience.
Image Credit: Flickr/Björn Rixman
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